Burlington County health officials are urging county residents to remain vigilant as the county sees an uptick in COVID-19 infections.
MOUNT HOLLY — Health officials are urging vigilance following reports that Burlington County is an emerging “hot spot” for COVID-19 infections, particularly among teens and young adults.
Health Department Director Dr. Herb Conaway on Friday said the county is seeing an uptick in daily new cases. Over the last two weeks, coronavirus cases have increased from about 15 new cases a day to about 35 new cases a day, according to Conaway.
But, Conaway noted, the county continues to keep close watch on testing data and is contact tracing new cases.
“While this uptick is certainly cause for concern, we also believe that common-sense measures and adherence to the state’s social-distancing rules and guidance can contain the spread,” Conaway said in a news release Friday.
Maintaining social distancing — to the extent possible — will be even more crucial when school starts, he said.
“Just because you don’t experience symptoms, does not mean you are not necessarily a carrier for the disease,” Conaway said. “For this reason, social distancing, at all ages, continues to be paramount, in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”
The health department director encouraged county residents to wear masks in public and said anyone who is showing coronavirus symptoms or has visited another state on New Jersey’s quarantine list should get tested.
“If everyone does their part, we can stop this recent uptick from growing into a much more serious outbreak,” Conaway said.
While daily cases are increasing, Burlington County in recent days has seen some of its lowest death tolls since the outbreak began, data shows.
Gov. Phil Murphy at his daily coronavirus briefing similarly urged people to continue to use common-sense precautions to guard against coronavirus infection and spread.
Statewide, the rate of transmission has increased to 1.35 — meaning that, on average, every three coronavirus-positive people will infect four more.
The governor, at his news conference, also honored an Evesham business that, he said, has successfully innovated during the pandemic.
Joy’s Hallmark on Maple Avenue — which has been owned and operated by Joy and Ron Monokian for about 30 years — is an example of a small business that has taken advantage of Economic Development Authority funding and will be a “vital part of our long-term economic recovery,” Murphy said Friday.
“We know this pandemic has been nothing short of an economic crisis, as much as it has been a public health crisis, and that is why I am proud of the work of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to pump $100 million directly into our small business sector,” Murphy said. “One of those small businesses we’re proud to have partnered with is Joy’s Hallmark.”
Murphy said that since 1987 the Evesham gift shop has helped customers celebrate “holidays, birthdays, weddings, graduations and, frankly, everything in between,” but noted that “when the pandemic hit, their store took a hit too.”
Ron Monokian secured direct grant assistance through the EDA, money that allowed Joy’s Hallmark to continue operating and paying employees, according to the governor.
“I had the great pleasure of speaking with Ron on Wednesday afternoon and I know he shares our optimism about the days ahead, although he reminded me he’s still 25% off of where he was last year,” Murphy said.